tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC January 23, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
and as we start off a new week, good evening once again from our nbc headquarters here in new york. day 368 this was of the trump administration. and if there is rejoicing in the streets where you lived at this late hour, that's because a government shutdown is over. it lasted from midnight friday into saturday until earlier this evening, and we'll be back at it two weeks from this coming thursday. that's the next time funding is set to expire. we'll have more on that in just a moment, but we have new reporting on the ongoing tensions between the white house and the fbi. tonight axios reporter jonathan swann said it this way. he writes, quote, attorney general jeff sessions at the public urging of president donald trump has been pressuring fbi director christopher wray to fire fbi director andrew mccabe. but wray threatened to resign if mccabe was removed, according to
three sources with direct knowledge. wray's situation under those circumstances would have created a media firestorm. the white house decidedly gunshy so mccabe remains. don mcgahn told sessions this issue wasn't worth losing the fbi director over, according to a source familiar with the situation. just yesterday jonathan swann also reported this, quote, attorney general jeff sessions has adamantly urged fbi director christopher wray to make a fresh start with his core team, including replacing deputy director and trump bete noire andrew mccabe, according to a senior administration source. according to this source and two other sources briefed on the conversations, sessions has been strongly urging wray to do this for some time. another person sessions thought should be cleared from the core
team, the fbi's top lawyer james a. baker who was reassigned in december. you may recall that fbi director wray was appointed to the job after james comey was fired. but in the months before wray took over, deputy director andrew mccabe ran the bureau. the president, many of his republican allies have been publicly critical of andrew mccabe and have alleged that political bias has influenced the fbi's handling of the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mail server as well as the russia investigation. last month director wray defended the bureau at a hearing before the house judiciary committee. >> there is no finer institution than the fbi and no finer people than the men and women who work there and are its very beating heart. almost 37,000 men and women with a fierce commitment to protecting the american people
and upholding the rule of law in all 50 states and in about 80 countries around the world. men and women who face the darkest that life has to offer with unyielding integrity and honesty and dedication. >> tonight the white house issued this statement in response to this axios report, quote, the president has enormous respect for the thousands of rank and file fbi agents who make up the world's most professional and talented law enforcement agency. he believes politically motivated senior leaders, including former director comey and others he empowered have tainted the agency's reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice. the president appointed chris wray because he is a man of true character and integrity and the right choice to clean up the misconduct at the highest levels of the fbi and give the rank and file confidence in their leadership. with that let's bring in our leadoff panel on a monday night,
msnbc national security analyst frank fegluzi, former fbi assistant director for counterintelligence who has worked with robert mueller and others, and he knows the key player in this story, andrew mccabe. eli stokels is back with us and axios reporter jennifer owens who broke the news tonight about christopher wray. kaitlyn, if you don't mind, i'd like to start with you. this reads from the president down to his cabinet official, that would be sessions, from sessions on down to the fbi director. >> right. as jonathan swann, my colleague, reported, you're right, it was a
domino effect. president trump has been publicly, you know, on twitter, even, deriding mccabe. so then what we learned tonight is that, you know, this moved pressure on jeff sessions to then pressure christopher wray to fire mccabe. and then wray threatened to resign. think of what happened with comey. we've seen the president's willingness to go against the fbi and the fallout that's still coming from that, both internally within the white house and externally it's been chaos. what's truly remarkable here was that the president was still willing to go against the fbi, and jeff sessions was as well. so it's what they avoided, the kind of media fallout we've seen with comey post his firing still to this day, but this just underscores that the president is still taking on the fbi in a way that is truly unprecedented. >> eli, our friend mr. swann, who is an internationalist to the core, used the phrase bete noire to describe mr. mccabe. put another way, if you do a report on fox news, mccabe comes up all the time. remind us why, especially on the right, he is such a politically
complicated figure. >> the president and his legal team and his coterie of allies who go on the airways and folks at fox news, they're all looking for any shred of evidence that there is anti-trump violence inside the fbi. mccabe -- this comes down to mccabe's wife having run as a democrat for a state senate seat in virginia and having taken money from terry mcauliffe, the former governor of virginia, who is obviously very close to the clintons, and then mccabe being number two at the fbi during the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mail server and also being seen as someone who the statement from the white house explains, the comey regime. he's part of the comey regime.
he was elevated under jim comey, and that's enough for folks who are trying to paint everything, the fbi, the mueller investigation, with that brush. that's enough for them, they believe, to show some appearance or at least to sow the seeds of doubt about the integrity of the fbi which they're trying to discredit as much as they can in terms of discrediting whatever eventual findings come out of the mueller probe. >> frank, you're the one on the other side. what do you make of any or all of this reporting? >> the president and the attorney general are really skating on thin ice here. the moment a career fbi agent can be removed or fired simply for doing his job at the whim of a president is the moment where we risk losing the rule of law. so andy mccabe is a multi-20-some-odd year veteran of the fbi. he's eligible for retirement in something like two months, and although it's very common for a new fbi director to start moving very senior managers, as he eventually brings his own people in, i actually believe tonight that director wray has been holding off on any moves deliberately because he can't appear for the good of the agency, he can't appear to be a lackey of the president and
simply accede to any moves that the president or the attorney general want to make lest he lose the reputation of the fbi as an independent law enforcement agency. >> and frank, i have to ask you, because it's interwoven in the white house statement tonight. the president and his associates and those who speak for him almost trolling the rank and file at the fbi, setting up this story that management is screwed up and deeply unpopular. what can you say to that? >> so i say that tonight, even though i don't know chris wray personally, he's earned my respect. why? he's preserving the independence of the fbi, but if this reporting is accurate, he's also sending a message to the rank and file of the fbi. he's saying, i have your back. do your job, do your very tough
job, and i'll have your back. and that's something all americans should respect tonight. >> and kaitlyn, how can you speak? what can you say to the communications between jeff sessions, the attorney general, the nation's top law enforcement officer and don mcghan who is white house counsel. >> so axios reported that sessions made wray aware of how reluctant he was to fire mccabe, like we said, that he threatened to resign instead of do that. the message seems to be well received. the issue has been left as it is for now, but yeah, it seems that message was very clearly communicated. and i think it goes back to just the idea that wray is standing up against what would have been at the bare minimum a media field day over the second major firing and then a resignation within the fbi. >> eli stokels, does the president understand the optics or has it been explained to him
that you can't keep replacing fbi directors every few weeks or months? put another way, if my math is right, you could have been a 37-year-old american in 1972 and have known only one fbi director your entire life on earth. >> yeah, that's right. and i think he obviously didn't understand that when he fired jim comey. whether he's learned that now, you know, it's hard to say. it's hard to conclude from this report that trump ordered sessions to do this. trump and sessions don't have the closest relationship. you can see sessions almost taking his cues from trump statements and tweets, maybe from don mcghan. chris is urging him to do this on his own to get himself back in trump's good graces. we're not sure if trump ordered this down the chain or there is some differences between them. that would tell us a lot of what you're trying to get at whether donald trump has learned from the mistake of firing jim comey.
it is safe to say that chris wray, in saying he wasn't going to do this and threatening to resign himself, not only did he send a message to the fbi and to the rank and file officers about his respect for the importance of the rule of law and an independent intelligence community and law enforcement agency, he also protected this white house from what would have been potentially another huge self-inflicted wound in the midst of this ongoing investigation that is also about obstruction of justice. the obstruction of justice portion which does center largely on the firing of jim comey. >> frank, this talk about the fbi, the way we're referring to it, the attack it's been under from the president all without precedent.
what do you think the effect has been on morale? and let's start with the rank and file. >> from what i'm hearing from inside, the concern is really the perception of the public and the impact that might have on the effectiveness of displaying your fbi credentials in the course of an investigation and getting the support from the public. but i think it's important to say that most people realize, particularly those in the fbi, that it's not the issues within the fbi that are causing it to be perceived as a political entity, but rather how the president keeps portraying it that's causing that politicization perception in the public. that's a deliberate strategy by the president. and now apparently trying to involve the attorney general in that strategy. very disturbing. >> frank, this does call for wild guess/speculation on your part, but if you're robert mueller reading this axios story, this headline tonight, how are you reacting?
>> well, he's probably thinking that he could easily be the next one that's threatening to resign or actually being pressured to leave and is potentially fireable by the president. i can tell you this. justice will prevail. if wray is fired or released, mueller will continue on with the special counsel. if mueller is fired by the president, chris wray will ensure that the fbi picks up and continues that case. so the president would have to keep firing leadership after leadership after leadership. >> thanks for being our opening panel and starting off our coverage on a monday night. thanks to all three of you. coming up for us as we approach our first break. we've got a u.s. senator standing by for reaction to the end of this shutdown. and is this any way to govern? and later, the president who touted deal-making experience was a lot more quiet than usual during this past impasse, leaving some to wonder if two unelected people in the white house aren't the ones holding the cards on immigration. we're just getting started on a monday night. please stay with us. ♪
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tonight president trump signed a short-term spending bill to fund the government for about three more weeks, give or take. congress voted on the bill after a weekend of negotiations involving senators from both parties. that resulted in senate democrats agreeing to sign the bill in exchange for a promise from republican leaders to vote on protections for young documented immigrants known as d.r.e.a.m.ers. >> so long as the government remains open, it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the senate that would address daca.
this immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides. >> this was senate minority leader chuck schumer's response. >> we expect that a bipartisan bill on daca will receive fair consideration and an up or down vote on the floor. i expect the majority leader to fulfill his commitment to the senate, to me and to the bipartisan group and abide by this agreement. if he does not, of course, and i expect he will, he will have breached the trust of not only the democratic senators but members of his own party as well. >> but even before the house vote, the white house claimed victory for the president and on behalf of the president's party. >> democrats realized that the position that they had taken frankly was indefensible and that they had to focus on first funding our military, protecting
border patrol agents, funding vulnerable children through the chip program. these were things they didn't disagree with. they agreed with everything that was in this c.r. the president stayed firm, republicans stayed firm, and the democrats realized they had to move past that piece of legislation. >> we are happy to be joined tonight by senator mike rounds, senator of minnesota. mike, thanks for joining us. looking back on this moment of history, what was the shutdown all about? >> i think it was the democrats' opportunity to bring up the d.r.e.a.m.er issue. i think that was a mistake on their part because when they took off, i'm not sure they exactly knew where they wanted to land. i think they thought to begin with that they could make some demands with regard to attaching to a must-pass bill. but i think as we worked our way through the process and visited
with them and started working through all the different scenarios, it became apparent that about the best that they could come up with was the offer that the majority leader made, which was, let's go to daca and we'll do it on a particular day. we did shorten the time up by a week, this continuing resolution, but what it did was provide them a safe place to land. and in doing so, probably gave the senate a chance to work on some bipartisan legislation that might really change the attitudes of a lot of senators that really have been challenged lately with regard to how the senate works. >> what about this governing, speaking of how the senate works, of kicking the can down the road? you represent a hearty state of hard-working people, and ironically i was reminded
tonight a bunch of people employed by the credit card industry. you've rolled your balance forward, and this thing comes up again two weeks from this coming thursday. and as they say in south dakota and elsewhere, is that any way to run a railroad? >> no, it's not. in fact, it's terrible. we've been doing it for 44 years. during that time, four times in the last 44 years we've actually done the budget process the way it's supposed to be done. i came in three years ago, expressed my displeasure with continuing resolutions because it doesn't give us a chance to use the most currently updated policy, nor the updated appropriations plans. the same thing has happened this
year. we should have been in july and august establishing the spending for october on. it didn't happen. we gave them -- a group of us said we'll vote one c.r. for you until december. i voted against the next c.r. i don't like them. but here was the opportunity for us this time around, i had talked to the majority leader and told him i would oppose the c.r. as it came up this time unless there was some movement toward getting back to regular order. he agreed to bring up defense spending, the defense spending appropriation bill within four
weeks after the time had passed at the house, which would be by the end of february. that to me was a step in the right direction. we should have had these on the floor. to the majority leader's credit, he has shared multiple times that he simply didn't have an agreement with the dems to bring those bills forward. just to get the bill, it takes 60 votes meaning every democrat and republican has to approve each item before it comes to the floor. this is a broken system, and i agree with everyone out there who says there is no way to run it, it's got to be fixed. we've got some ideas on it but this is -- when you do four c.r.s in four months, at some moment things can get tripped up bad, and that's what happened here. >> we certainly appreciate you talking about however unpleasant the situation was. the senator from minnesota after an eventful weekend, that dome behind you. thank you, senator. >> thank you. we have an update tonight on the fight delayed, the fight still ahead. "the 11th hour" back after this. hi, i'm the internet! you know what's difficult? armless bowling. you got this, jimmy! you know what's easy? building your website with godaddy. pick a domain name. choose a design. you can build a website in under an hour. now that's a strike! get your domain today and get a free trial of gocentral. build a better website in under an hour. i love you.
while congress was able to pass a short-term measure to end the government shutdown, it comes without much progress on this immigration deal that would address daca. confusion last week over what donald trump would and wouldn't support for immigration policy led several members of congress, democrats and republicans alike, to point fingers at white house chief of staff john kelly and senior policy adviser steven miller. >> about the president, his heart is right on this issue. i think he has a good understanding of what will sell. every time we have a proposal, it's only yanked back by staff members. as long as steven miller is in charge of negotiating administration, we're going nowhere. >> time and again the president says one thing if a meeting or even in a tweet, and then his white house staff has to go back and change things, and i don't think they know what they're doing over there. there's absolute incompetence. >> this is the third or fourth time on this issue he's made
some kind of commitment and backed off because he's afraid of the right wing. whether steven miller does it, whether general kelly doesn't steer him in the right direction and just lets it happen, i don't know. >> any effort to kill immigration reform usually has mr. miller's fingerprints on it, so i wouldn't be a bit surprised if he's part of this. >> known for their hardline stances on immigration, the decision in the white house leads the democrats to ask who really makes the decisions. bloomberg said, elevate usually anonymous back-room players into center-stage roles at a time when questions already exist about whether trump has a firm grip on his own white house. anita, first off, i'm looking at the headlines on the web tonight, exaspiration with schumer, disagreement with the dems, demoralization on the left with what they feel was a fruitful shutdown. what just happened and what happened with chuck schumer? >> he's getting criticized so much by people on the left. progressive groups are so upset, groups that support daca and
d.r.e.a.m.ers are so upset. basically he agreed to what it seemed like he had a few days ago, at least that's what the white house says. nothing changed. he agreed to have the votes to open up the government, and for that he got a commitment they would work on immigration policy including protections for d.r.e.a.m.ers by february 8. so as you noted, less than three weeks. i'm not sure how much they're going to get done in less than three weeks. really members of his party who didn't vote for it, people on the left are very upset with him and they thought he didn't get anything from it. i know one person told me today they should have demanded they
have a meeting with the president today, and they didn't do that. >> this is a president, of course, who promised a bill of love. anita, i note that you predicted january 10th there were warnings. gop negotiators say trump aide stephen miller is standing in the way of an immigration deal. memo to washington, if anita makes mention of you, pay attention. >> we were hearing from republican members and staffers on the hill that they just didn't like that he was there in the negotiating room. it was so many complaints about him. but basically he would not back down from -- he didn't want to negotiate. he had so many things that he wanted in exchange for protections for d.r.e.a.m.ers, they felt it was unrealistic and that he didn't really want a deal. he was proposing so many things just so that they could not have a deal. >> now, let's see here.
kelsey, our friends parker and dossey at the "washington post" write this. miller prizes loyalty to trump above all else and speaks often of the president with reverence. the president, meanwhile, is fond of miller's combative style and sees him as a difficult person to replace because of his speechwriting abilities, current and former aides said. >> i'm hearing from many conservatives that trump staked out a line in immigration before miller joined the trump orbit. then they feel all miller is doing is reminding trump of what they did on the campaign trail, reminding him that's how he got elected and having a hard stance is part of a signature of what he was as a candidate. there is a large group of conservatives who i have spoken with on the hill who say they feel that way. i was in that same scrum with lindsey graham on saturday. he distinguished that as tuesday
trump and thursday trump. so tuesday trump was the trump we saw in that televised meeting in the white house. and thursday trump was the one who had that meeting behind closed doors that was laced with profanity and drove democrats away. and their concern is less about necessarily the fact that there are a lot of people in trump's ear but more about the unpredictability of when he is going to side with which person. >> anita, help me with general kelly. we're all pretty familiar, especially those of us in the business with his biographical sketch, working class boston, joins the military, becomes a career guy there. but then becomes secretary of homeland security. that's where immigration interse cts in a real and serious way
with his life. how did he become a kind of hardened politico if you believe the portraits being written? >> i think there was some people that remembered that he said -- i believe he testified in front of congress that personally he thought the daca program should -- you know, the d.r.e.a.m.ers should still be protected. this is when he was secretary. and i think a lot of people in the hill took that to mean, oh, he's not going to have such a hardline stance. but in so many other ways when he was dhs secretary, he did have a hard line stance on immigration, and border enforcement went up dramatically when he was secretary. so i think that people who were thinking that he wouldn't have those stances now that he's part of the negotiating were sort of kidding themselves. it was a couple weeks ago that senate republicans came to the white house and sort of complained to the president, we don't have anyone in charge over here. we don't have a point person for you. so he asked general kelly to
take control. so he really has been much more involved with the negotiations. i think they're seeing a lot more from him, and they're hearing a lot more from him, and some of that has surprised him but it probably shouldn't have. >> and kelsey, because you have the glory and honor of following the kick the can down the road congress, two weeks from this coming thursday, the great danger, as i understand it, is the senate passes something and then the white house says, not here. >> that's absolutely a danger. the thing to keep in mind, yes, the deadline they have set up is february 8th. but between now and february 8th is the state of the union and a three-day republican retreat that takes them away from washington, and that really leaves them only about six governing days to write a new spending bill. that logically means they will probably have to do another short-term spending bill, which
is precisely the thing they said they didn't want to do. what's really interesting here, though, is the way mcconnell set up this agreement is that they can't shut down the government if they want to have a vote on immigration. so there is a little bit of binding here for democrats. there is an incentive to keep the government open, but there really isn't such a thing over in the house, and the only way the house is going to pick up something that passes the senate is if they have a sense that the white house will sign it and that there's backing from trump. this hinges quite a bit on whether or not there is a belief that the president will support whatever the senate passes and whether or not he'll make good on that promise that he'll take the heat and he'll sign anything that can become law. >> two great journalists on their respective beats in washington. thank you both for returning to the broadcast. coming up for us, steve kornacki. a rare monday night appearance at the big board for a look at why some dems may have felt they had to fold on this shutdown. that and more when we continue.
the strategy to shut down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something the american people didn't understand. >> while this procedure will not satisfy everyone on both sides, it's a way forward. i'm confident that we can get the 60 votes in the senate for a daca bill. >> both parties today, as you saw scramble to claim victory today after congress voted to end this shutdown, but politico scores the results of this three-day stoppage this way. quote, democrats lost the shutdown war. that much was obvious when they voted to reopen the government with little to show for it. i suppose if you want to put it that way. our national political correspondent steve kornacki is here.
>> yeah, and the democrats are asking, was it worth it? you have a couple weeks to get the daca fixed here, and if they don't, do they go down this road again? there are two poll questions that i think tell the story really well. first of all, why did the democrats go to the shutdown in the first place? this poll question answers that. it's that simple question. americans, you asked him about daca. do you want this thing to be permanent or do you want daca to go away? overwhelmingly, this is across party lines, across ideological lines, we like daca. this was worth trying to get some leverage over. we can go to a shutdown because the american people will be with us on this underlying question about daca.
that's how we got into this shutdown on friday. then there's a follow-up question here. okay, you like daca, but what about priorities here? what's more important for congress to do? is it just to avoid a shutdown and keep the government open, or is it to maintain daca? that's where i think you started to get a split on the democratic side here. because look, again, by more than a 20% margin folks say the bottom line is we want the government open. sure, we like daca, but prioritywise, we want the government open.
so you started to see some tension expose itself on the democratic side. you saw this over the last few days. these are democratic senators running for reelection in states that donald trump won. you saw, look, john tester today actually voted to keep the government shut down. his objections, though, were basically that he doesn't like these short-term extensions. a lot of these other folks here, they were starting to feel some of that pressure, i think, of, hey, do we want to be seen as shutting down the government because of daca? on the other hand, though, nearly one-third of the democratic caucus still voted today to continue with the shutdown. they are from blue states. they believe they have a confident position here on daca. they believe it's something worth continuing to fight for that way through potentially a shutdown. this is a question that could come up in a few weeks if democrats do not get this fix, do not get this deal on daca, that deadline comes on february 8th, are these folks going to want to go to a shutdown again? the other side of the caucus will, but will you get that party unity here, and i think that's really the question. there is support out there from folks for daca overwhelmingly. but at the cost of a shutdown, that's where it starts to get dicey. >> steve, to your point, we don't see any numbers in the 80s about hardly anything anymore.
that's a huge number in support. >> again, that's why democrats i think read that initially and said, this is clear and overwhelming support. it's when you get to that question of prioritization, that's when things get a little complicated. >> steve, thanks so much. great having this topic in your capable hands tonight. we appreciate you hanging around for us. >> thanks. coming up for us, the trump containment strategy. the news tonight, the fbi director has threatened to quit. steve schmidt reacts to all of it, when we come back.
i've watched the politicians, i've dealt with them all my life. if you can't make a good deal with a politician, then there's something wrong with you. you're certainly not very good. >> president trump, as you may recall, sold his deal-making skills from the very first day of the campaign. however, jonathan lemere and darlene superville, both of the associated press, said president donald trump remained out of sight, suppressing his instincts to make himself part of the
story by making a deal or picking a fight. tonight other friends of our broadcast, ashley parker and josh dossey of the "washington post" co-authored a piece we mentioned earlier titled "white house strategy, keep trump contained." they wrote, republicans pursued a clear strategy to keep trump contained during the three-day standoff that ended monday. steve schmidt is here to talk about it and a political analyst. i see you're chuckling. is it best that our president be kept as far away from this deal as possible? >> no, they talk about him like they're hanging hannibal electric ter out. this is the president of the united states, commander in chief. extraordinary disregard with which this white house staff talks about their president. >> and steve, you are alone in public and media life by my reckoning in your use of the
word "rigor." it's a terrific word. it speaks to a work ethic and a way of living, and rigor, that great word, has been so completely absent from our elected officials in washington who have again chosen to walk us up to a government shutdown deadline, as we've been saying, two weeks from this coming thursday. >> certainly it's the case, brian, that this does not go unnoticed all through the world. the chinese english language state news agency has been mocking the american system of government all day long all through the shutdown. what country in the world would look at the united states senate, at the house of representatives and say this system of government is working? we've seen a total collapse of
trust in brand america throughout the world over the course of the last year. it is really, really unfortunate. and let's remember, as each side claims victory on this, the american people certainly are the losers. we have a defense secretary and a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff both saying that the budgeting process is so completely broken that it's harming readiness in the u.s. military. it's weakening our national security efforts and that they can't run the defense department with this broken process. at the end of the day, they managed to shut the government down.
the republicans control all of it, by the way, so i do think the republicans ran so closely associated with shutting down the government, but they shut it down arguing on two issues that american people support. the children's health insurance program, which has never been contentious, and of course, the d.r.e.a.m.ers. and 90% of the country roughly says, let them stay, we're a big enough country to absorb them into it. >> in the meantime, i know you've had access to some numbers measuring public attitudes on what's become the kind of moving target of truth these days. >> well, if my day job, i'm the vice chairman of a global public relations firm. we do the largest study of trust globally, looking at business, media, government, and ngos. 33,000 people surveyed across 28 countries. what we've seen over the 18 years is the biggest one-year drop in trust ever, and it's on the united states of america. the american people don't trust the united states, and globally the united states has fallen. brand america, in terms of companies that are headquartered here, we're between italy and spain. we're slightly more trusted than russia, slightly less trusted than china. and globally, you've seen huge increases in trust around brand china, as american seems adrift in the world.
certainly when you think about the american people domestically and you look at this carnival of incompetence under way in washington, d.c., where our politicians hail as some giant foot forward for the american republic, the notion that ministerially they can maintain the government, that this is some type of victory, you understand why the american people hold their politicians in such profound contempt and distrust. >> as so many people go to see a movie about winston churchill at a time when so much seemed lost in the united kingdom, it is hard to believe that we have managed to screw up our relationship with the united kingdom. >> yeah, it's extraordinary to ponder the spectacle of a president of the united states who is not welcome in the presence of her majesty the queen. you think of outside the old american embassy, the towering
statue of fdr in his naval cape, the indispensable relation for freedom and liberty, in its darkest hour, the alliance between the united states and the united kingdom, remarkable that he's managed to antagonize and to unify the fractious british politics, but he's appalled them with his rash comments and tweets attacking the united kingdom, he's simply not welcome, and it is astonishing. >> steve, i know you're interested in the axios reporting about the pressure on the director of the fbi. "the washington post," fbi director christopher wra has been resisting pressure to replace his deputy director mccabe, a frequent target of criticism from president trump. i know you're disturbed by this notion of tinkering with and engineering the fbi beyond the normal kind of review of the troops and bringing in of close
associates, that new directors are allowed to do. >> there's an extraordinary assault under way upon the fbi, its agents, its career men and women. it involves republican members of congress, it involves a news network, and certainly it involves the administration. it is unprecedented. the rule of law is foundational to american democracy, and we see these attacks by an attorney general who is recused from this investigation about russia, an attorney general who has lied multiple times about it, after comey is fire, after a special counsel is appointed, after the attorney general's recused, we come to find out that the attorney general back at the envelope is trying to interfere with the investigation, apparently urging the new fbi director, who comes through contentious hearings because of the way the old fbi director was fired, to clean house, to follow the political instinct, to
follow the wishes of the white house, to subordinate the independence of the agency. and good for the director, with showing public rectitude at a moment of pressure by this white house whose constancy with the interference with the rule of law and the american justice system is as worrying as it is ominous for the future of liberty in this country. >> our thanks as always to steve schmidt, appreciate it very much. another break for us tonight. when we come back, did native american intervention somehow contribute to the end of the government shutdown? the story after this.
last thing before we go tonight. native americans often knew the best way to do things way before the newer arrivals in this country and it appears that tradition is very much alive, and may have actually contributed to this break in the log jam in washington and the end of the shutdown, at least for now. "the new york times" was the first to report a gathering of two dozen of centrist senators in her office, they were frustrated at the gulf between the two parties and the shutdown that was vexing them. she told "the times," she needed order at the meeting and so out came the native american talking stick.
it had been a gift from north dakota democratic senator heidi heitkamp and the custom of the talking stick dates back to native american councils. the usefulness of such an object is obvious. it enforces the speaker's right to be heard and it forces the audience to listen. and as our teachers regularly reminded us in school, how can we listen if we're all talking? the group calls themselves the common sense coalition. about a quarter of the senate, it includes names like kuns of delaware, klobuchar, kaine, and lindsey graham of south carolina, who refers to collins' office as the switzerland of the senate. well, for now and for this time in our history, her office functions much closer to the way the entire senate used to function. and that is our broadcast for a
monday night as we start a new week. thank you so much for being here with us and couldn't from nbc news headquarters from new york. shutdown is over but don't worry, in all likelihood, we'll have another one two weeks from thursday. the government is back up and running this morning. lawmakers were able to agree on a three-week funding bill, but only after a promise from majority leader mitch mcconnell to take up immigration. plus, president trump was largely out of sight during the shutdown deal, but the white house is playing down reports that he was not involved in negotiations. good morning, everybody. it is tuesday, january 23rd. a three-day government